Claimant awarded total sum of $4,000 for injuries resulting from attack by
another inmate including $1,500 for past pain and suffering; $1,500 for future
pain and suffering; and $1,000 for scarring.
This court previously found that the defendant State of New York was 100%
liable to the claimant for any injuries he suffered when he was struck on the
back of the head with a broom by another inmate at the Elmira Correctional
Facility on June 8, 1998. (
Crenshaw v State of New York
, Ct Cl, May 10, 2004, Lebous, J., Claim No.
98862 [UID No. 2004-019-008]).
trial was held in this matter on May 10, 2005 at the Court of Claims in
Binghamton, New York. Claimant was represented by counsel for the damages
trial. This decision addresses the issue of damages
At said damages trial, claimant presented his own testimony, as well as his
medical records. Claimant did not offer any expert medical testimony. The
State offered the testimony of Cornelius De Bruin, a registered nurse at the
Elmira Correctional Facility.
At the conclusion of the trial, a bench decision was rendered on the record
granting claimant damages based upon the findings of fact placed on the record
by the court as set forth hereinbelow.
With respect to the issue of past pain and suffering, the court found that
claimant suffered a blow to the head; was treated in the facility infirmity for
approximately 1 hour; received pain medication; and 4 stitches to close his
wound. Claimant testified that his sutures were removed at some later date.
Claimant also testified he has continuously suffered headaches since the date of
the assault. The court noted that claimant's medical records establish that a
subsequent CAT scan and MRI were negative. Based on the foregoing, the court
awards claimant the sum of $1,500 for past pain and suffering.
With respect to future pain and suffering, claimant testified that he continues
to suffer from headaches for which he takes various pain medications. The court
awards claimant the sum of $1,500 for future pain and suffering.
Finally, with respect to the issue of permanency, the State's witness testified
that the original wound measured approximately 1¼ inches in length.
Although the court attempted to view claimant's scar during trial, the scar was
hidden under claimant's hair and the court was unable to see the scar. That
having been said, however, based on claimant's testimony, the court finds that
claimant's scar was visible for a time following the attack, although most of
the hair has since grown back in. The court awards claimant the sum of $1,000
for the scarring.
Consequently, at the conclusion of the trial, a decision was rendered on the
record on behalf of the claimant in which the court found for the claimant in
the amount of $1,500 for past pain and suffering; $1,500 for future pain and
suffering; and $1,000 for scarring; for a total award to claimant of $4,000.
Interest on the award is to run from May 10, 2004 the date that liability was
In accordance with the prior Order to Produce Claimant at Trial dated January
27, 2005, the court directed that "[t]he costs of transporting, security,
guarding and all other related expenses for producing the claimant at the Court
of Claims from Clinton Correctional Facility shall be paid out of or offset
against said judgment or settlement. Clinton Correctional Facility shall so
advise the Court of these costs by an affidavit submitted by a responsible and
knowledgeable facility employee familiar with the costs incurred...."
In accordance with said Order, the Department of Correctional Services is
directed to provide to the court within thirty (30) days of the filing of this
Decision, an affidavit by a responsible and knowledgeable employee setting forth
the costs incurred in producing the claimant at the trial of this claim. The
affidavit should also be served on the attorney for claimant who will have until
the forty-fifth (45) day after filing of this Decision to provide a response.
In the event that the affidavit setting forth the costs is not provided to the
court and the attorney within the specified time periods, the right to recover
such costs will be deemed waived. Entry of judgment is stayed pending
resolution of this issue.